Friday, 22 October 2021

Guitar genius bringing ‘ghost of Hendrix’ to Reading bar

Guitar genius bringing ‘ghost of Hendrix’ to Reading bar

A FEMALE guitar prodigy, at 14 Chantel McGregor was told by major labels that she had a “great voice, but girls don’t play guitar like that!”

Wisely ignoring the comments, she enrolled at the Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college’s history, to achieve a 100 per cent pass mark, with 18 distinctions.

Chantel left with a first class honours degree in popular music and a coveted prize — the college’s musician of the year award.

She plays the Face Bar in Reading on Monday night (September 17).

In previous years, Chantel stepped out in the pro musician world and her stunning live performances demonstrated that she had the ability to perform rock for the new age, played by a musician born with an effortless virtuosity.

Since then, she has built a loyal and growing fan base who follow her every move.

If you measure an artist’s prospects by the company they keep, then Chantel has been moving in the right direction. Early in her career, Chantel was invited to perform with Joe Bonamassa on two of his UK tours.

When Chantel released her 2011 debut album Like No Other one critic said: “Chantel McGregor deserves to be held up as a messiah of blues-rock and given her own mountain. She doesn’t strum or pick her guitar but almost bends and distorts it, as if she’s channelling the ghost of Hendrix through her fingers.”

High praise.

The album was produced by Livingstone Brown, whose production credits include Ed Sheeran, Robin Trower, and Shakira. The end result was a beautifully crafted debut album that showcased Chantel’s versatility and talent as a singer-songwriter.

Chantel’s follow up album Like Control, again produced by Livingstone Brown, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim.

All About Rock’s review of the album said: “The album in its entirety has a common theme running through of gothic imagery, which makes it almost a concept album but each track stands out on its own.

“Chantel’s double-tracked vocals are amazingly tight and the production on this album sounds loose, which is a compliment to Livingstone Brown and Chantel, who have obviously spent a lot of time on the arrangements.

The girl can obviously shred but she does so in a very understated and despite the title of the album, a controlled way.

“Recommended for fans of blues, rock, Jeff Buckley, Marillion and Nick Drake, this is a hard album to categorise and pigeonhole, which in this day and age of labels and boxes is a good thing.”

Chantel is currently writing for her third album, debuting some of the new tracks on her 2018 tour which is currently taking place throughout the UK and Europe.

Some of the shows on this tour are a little different — Chantel is performing some exclusive solo acoustic shows at which she will be performing new songs, reworking tracks from her previous two albums and playing some rare cover versions. These are one-off shows not to be missed.

Chantel McGregor plays the Face Bar in Ambrose Place, Reading, on Monday (September 17). Tickets are £14. For more information and to book tickets, visit

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